By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Related Press
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s international minister warned Tuesday that Moscow may freeze its contacts with the European Union in response to its sanctions over the poisoning of Russian opposition chief Alexei Navalny — an unprecedented menace that displays a bitter Russia-EU pressure.
The robust assertion from Sergey Lavrov comes a day after the EU international ministers agreed to impose sanctions on Russian officers and organizations blamed for Navalny’s poisoning with a Soviet-era nerve agent.
“We most likely merely need to briefly cease speaking to these folks within the West who’re chargeable for international coverage and don’t perceive the necessity for mutually respectful dialogue,” Lavrov mentioned at a international coverage convention attended by specialists in Moscow.
He particularly pointed at European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen’s latest statements ruling out a partnership with Russia, saying that situation will play out if that is what the EU desires.
“Russia desires to grasp whether or not it is attainable to do any enterprise with the EU within the present situations,” Lavrov added.
At Monday’s assembly in Luxembourg, France and Germany urged their EU companions to freeze the belongings of these suspected of involvement and ban them from touring in Europe below sanctions to fight the use and unfold of chemical weapons.
EU international coverage chief Josep Borrell offered no particulars about who would possibly face sanctions or when the measures would possibly come into power, however mentioned that technical work on making ready the motion will now proceed.
Navalny, an anti-corruption investigator and probably the most seen opponent of President Vladimir Putin, fell sick on Aug. 20 throughout a home flight in Russia. He was flown to Germany for remedy two days later and continues to be recovering there.
Final week, assessments performed at labs designated by the Group for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed that the poison used on Navalny was a Novichok nerve agent. Navalny asserted that his poisoning solely may have been ordered by spymasters who would not have made such choices with out Putin’s involvement
The Kremlin has rejected Navalny’s accusations as “completely groundless and unacceptable.”
The Kremlin additionally reiterated that earlier than Navalny’s switch to Charite Hospital in Berlin, Russian labs and a hospital within the Siberian metropolis of Omsk discovered no signal of a poisoning. Moscow has known as for Germany and the OPCW to supply its proof, and bristled at Western leaders’ insistence that Russia reply questions on what occurred to the politician.
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